Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Dirty Little Secret

I read a quote recently that went like this ~


Per my recent norm, it made me stop and evaluate some things in my life.

It also made me want to come clean. You see, I have a confession to make.

Over the years I have talked freely about the mental illness that took my husband's life almost 11 years ago.

I have made it no secret that my precious daughter struggles daily with several different mental health diagnoses.

I have even mentioned that my know-it-all son is afflilcted with ADHD.

However, my friends, I have never once opened up to you about me...

I've never once told you about the days on end I have spent holed up in my bedroom - until my best friend literally dragged me out and forced me to shower.

I have never shared with you my frequent bouts with self-loathing, my sometimes suicidal ideations, and thoughts of what a better place the world would be in my absence.

I can't think of a single time I have mentioned my nights in the ER because the tightness and pain in my chest was so horrible, I thought I was dying. In reality I was sufferin massive panic attacks.

I don't talk about these things because I'm ashamed. For so long I have had to hold it together for the benefit of my kids. I tell myself, they didn't choose to be born into an only parent household. They deserve a chance at a normal childhood. They need a mom who has it all together.

So I put on the mask of resilience, and I forge through each day playing the part of the mom I think my kids deserve and the part of the woman I think everyone expects me to be.

But sometimes the mask suffocates, and sometimes the part is lacking a good script. It's in those times I feel my world caving in around me. I fear that I will be discovered. That my secret will get out. That someone will know that I am far from the emotionally and mentally stable person I portray myself to be, that I'm a fraud. I fear that someone will sweep in and take my kids from me, declaring me unfit to give them their best chance.

So I cry it out. I have my panic attacks. I withdraw from the world for a little while. And I regroup.

And after the intermission, I begin the next act.

But I can't keep the secret anymore. The pain in my chest comes more frequently these days. My temper is shorter. I find satisfaction in things - simple or grand - less and less. I am beginning to realize that despite my greatest performances, I am not Super Woman. I can't fight the evil wizard, slay the dragon, and rescue the princess all by myself.

Depression is an ugly disease that causes you to believe you are less than you are. It convinces you that you deserve less than the joy God intended for you.

I have been fighting it alone for years, unbeknownst to my children, my parents, my family, and many of my close friends. But I refuse to let it steal any more life from me. I have decided it is time to face this demon head on, to fight it, and to win, so that I am able to give my kids their best chance. And so I can finally have mine.


Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

You can do it! You are a good mother! Sending you hugs.

Becky said...

We all have lots of moments where we feel like frauds. I love that quote - so true.

Good for you for coming out and admitting it and wanting to work on it. That's a big step in your battle.

Anonymous said...

There is great strength in asking for help when we need it; honesty about our struggles is sometimes the hardest hurdle a person can face when trying to move through them. I wish you the best and can tell you that getting support can be a huge relief from the weight of things. Best wishes.

Rachel said...

You can do it! You're not alone, there are many of us fighting the battle with you. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

I fight this battle all the time. I'm not a single parent, so I imagine the battle is harder for you, but I do often tell myself I have to hold it together for my kids.

Shell said...

Oh girl- you are far from alone. I hope you know that by opening up, you'll receive lots of love and support. xo

Unknown said...

As a mom who went through horrible PPD and anxiety attacks that locked me in my house after the birth of my last child I understand completely. I would spend hours in the Bible trying to find anything to hold onto. I was on the medication, they were not helping, I hated how they made ME feel. I stimbled upon Psalm 91 and it has been my rock ever since. I have learned that when you read the written word out loud your panic attack will leave. Because your brain cannot process the rushing thoughts of panic and read aloud at the same time. It has been my saving grace more times then I would care to admit.

Anonymous said...

I have dealt with anxiety and depression since I could remember. 5 or 6 maybe?
Recently everything has changed in our home. New lifestyle, new place, more children and I come from a family of severe depression. My mom could be the walking definition of one. So strength has been mostly in me to just try to be better.
So many times I have broken away, I even moved 1K miles away on my own at age 18 just to make a new life and that helped me even though I struggled tremendously to get through it. But just like you I find that I fall apart time after time of having long periods of holding it all together.
I am glad that you shared your story. Of all the blogs I've been reading of how fabulous everyone's life is right now, yours is the only one I can really relate to. Of course I dont want you to go through any of this. Wouldnt even wish it on my worst enemy but I am glad there is someone who understands too.
It doesnt mean that you are crazy. Dont let anyone tell you that. Sometimes I wonder if the people who walk around acting like they are made of steel and nothing bothers them are the ones that are really screwed up?

Anonymous said...

Depression is such a horrible thing to have to endure. My heart goes out to you.

Ducky said...

...and in deciding to open the door to your isolation you find an entire throng of people, arms outstretched, heads nodding in understanding, hearts drumming with their supportive music... it is impossible to do it all. <3

You have so much to live for and it is NOT always as easy as just "being positive" or "changing your perspective". Sometimes we need help and the STRONGEST people are the ones that ask for it! Go on with your STRONG self!

Anonymous said...

Keep fighting, too. And remember that the addition of a second parent doesn't necessarily make for a 'normal' childhood. I have the temper of a wild animal and sometimes, even when I try my hardest not to, it erupts at my children and my husband. (And this isn't just some little thing. It's a beast.) Hang tough. You don't have to show the highlights reel for your kids to know how much you love them.

Kimberly said...

I am so extremely proud of you for writing this.
It is hard to talk about things that are so personal.
But you know what? I think it's neccessary to. We can't help you if we don't that you've reached your hand out, I'm going to squeeze it very tightly.
You're going to kick this in the taco

Margaret said...

I know just how you feel because I have been dealing with the same things all my life. I know you can beat it and I also know I can. It is just going to take time.

angela said...

Oh, you are absolutely not alone. And you're not a fraud; you did what you thought was best at the time, and I hope that you are able to find the support to get the help you are seeking now. Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

We all have our moments...
the moments of sadness or doubt.

I believe that knowing and admitting you have an issue to deal with is a excellent first step.

Renegades said...

It's a constant battle from within that so few understand yet those who live it know first hand.

May you find the strength, doctor,and support to battle.

Because it is just that a battle.

Babes Mami said...

Co grats on coming out of this clost! Tomm Im coming out of mine.

Babes Mami said...

Co grats on coming out of this clost! Tomm Im coming out of mine.

Babes Mami said...

Co grats on coming out of this clost! Tomm Im coming out of mine.

Dawn said...

Oh Kristin, I have been fighting a horrible bout of sadness this holiday season. I know EXACTLY how you feel! Know that you are not alone. Know that you are NOT a fraud... you did and are doing what you know is best for your kids. Keep your head up! I, too, have decided that maybe it's time I also get help. I know we both can do it! Keep strong!

Raine said...

Good for you! I suffer from depression and panic disorder, too, and sometimes I feel like an awful parent. And there is no second parent to take over for me. But I am not an awful parent. I am a good parent who suffers from depression. You are a good parent too. If you need someone to talk to you can always email or whatever to me :)

MissMia said...

Thank you for that.

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